A role for long chain myosin light chain kinase (MLCK-210) in microvascular hyperpermeability during severe burns

Rashell Reynoso, Rachel M. Perrin, Jerome W. Breslin, Dayle A. Daines, Katherine D. Watson, D. Martin Watterson, Mack H. Wu, Sarah Yuan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Microvascular leakage has been implicated in the pathogenesis of multiple organ dysfunction during trauma. Previous studies suggest the involvement of myosin light chain (MLC) phosphorylation-triggered endothelial contraction in the development of microvascular hyperpermeability. Myosin light chain kinase (MLCK) plays a key role in the control of MLC-phosphorylation status; thus, it is thought to modulate barrier function through its regulation of intracellular contractile machinery. The aim of this study was to further investigate the endothelial mechanism of MLC-dependent barrier injury in burns, focusing on the long isoform of MLCK (MLCK-210) that has recently been identified as the predominant isoform expressed in vascular endothelial cells. An MLCK-210 knockout mouse model was subjected to third-degree scald burn covering 25% total body surface area. The mesenteric microcirculation was observed using intravital microscopy, and the microvascular permeability was assessed by measuring the transvenular flux of fluorescein isothiocyanate-albumin. In a separate experiment, in vivo mesenteric hydraulic conductivity (Lp) was measured using the modified Landis technique. The injury caused a profound microvascular leakage, as indicated by a 2-fold increase in albumin flux and 4-fold increase in Lp at the early stages, which was associated with a high mortality within the 24-h period. Compared with wild-type control, the MLCK-210-deficient mice displayed a significantly improved survival with a greatly attenuated microvascular hyperpermeability response to albumin and fluid. These results provide direct evidence for a role of MLCK-210 in mediating burn-induced microvascular barrier injury and validate MLCK-210 as a potential therapeutic target in the treatment of burn edema.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)589-595
Number of pages7
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 2007


  • Burns
  • Endothelial barrier
  • Microvascular permeability
  • Myosin light chain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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